If you are about to enter a period of heavy training--whether it is in preparation for a marathon, a weight-lifting competition, or some other event--your body is about to be challenged. To ensure it is up for that challenge, you need to provide it with the best nutrition possible. Everyone's nutritional goals and requirements are different, depending on your size, workout goals, and activity level outside of working out. But no matter who you are and what you are training for, you can rely on these tips to improve your diet during a period of intense workouts:
Always Choose the Most Nutritionally Dense Option
Whenever you are faced with several food choices, get into the habit of always choosing the one that's the most nutritionally dense. In other words, choose the food that contains the most vitamins and minerals for its calorie content. An example would be if you had the choice between an apple, a handful of pretzels, and a cup of blueberries. All three contain about the same amount of calories, but the blueberries contain the most vitamins and minerals -- so they should be your top choice. Providing your body with more essential nutrients will help ensure you recover quickly and get the most out of your workouts.
Write Everything Down
If you're not already keeping track of everything you're eating, now is the time to start. If you don't like the pen-and-paper method, there are plenty of smartphone apps you can use to track what you eat. This way, you can look back on your records and nip any bad patterns in the bud before they get worse. For example, if you notice you've gone three days without writing down any vegetables, you know to really focus on the veggies over the next few days.
Plan Your Eating
Your diet will always go better if you plan what you're going to eat ahead of time. If you just arrive home with no dinner plans, you are far more likely to start reaching haphazardly for cookies and chips. Some people like to plan their meals at the beginning of the week, and some prefer to do it by the day. Try out both strategies to see which works better for you.
In addition to following the tips above, consider meeting with a nutritionist. They can help you design nutrition plans that are specially tailored to your workout goals during this period of high intensity.
When was the last time you got outside and really enjoyed your time away from work? A few years ago, I realized that there were some real problems with the way I was spending my free time, and it really caused some issues. For example, I was starting to gain an inordinate amount of weight, and I could really feel things starting to slip. I decided that it would be smart to start focusing on recreational activities and sports, and that simple decision saved my life. Within a few short months, I started feeling more energetic than ever before, and it was really powerful. Check out this blog for more information about spending time in recreational settings.